Fellowes AutoMax™ 200C, under $400 online, combines secure cross-cut shredding with the convenience of automatic feed, just like a printer’s Auto Document Feeder.
What a smart combination! Gone are the hours spent hand-feeding documents, even shorts stacks of them, using a conventional shredder. Fellowes AutoMax shredders change one’s perception of shredding for the better, with an added element of fun and wonder as well as functionality
Pros – Ideal for individual use in home office/small office; easy operation; 200-sheet auto feeder; 397 piece-per-sheet cross-cut with vertical, multi-sheet opening that accepts up to 10 8-1/2” x 14”sheets, plus credit cards, junk mail, optical discs; AutoFeed tray accepts 8-1/2” x 11” paper with staples, paper clips, up to 20 sheets stapled (pull apart stapled paper stacks of more than 20 sheets), up to 20 paper-clipped sheets or remove paper clip; auto reverse feature to prevent jams; 8.5 gal plastic bin that does not promote static electricity cling as with hard plastic bins and does not need bag liner; quieter than most (not silent) operation compared with many other shredders; auto 12-minute duty cycle with 20-minute cool down period and automatic resume; automatic sleep mode after two minutes of inactivity; two year warranty provides service and support against defects in material and workmanship (to original purchaser); seven year warranty against defects on cutting blades (see product documentation for details); four easy-roll wheels. See the User Manual PDF.
Cons – Not really a negative, but users need be aware that it requires footprint of 22-3/16″ x 13-5/8″ x 20″ attributable to AutoFeed feature’s mechanism.
What enters the bin below is considered to be a respectable Security Level P4. That is, a single sheet is shredded into 397 pieces, each about 5/32” x 1-1/2”. Learn more about Security Levels HERE.
A sensor below the cutters will detect if the bin becomes so full as to interfere with the exiting shreds and the unit will stop, generating the red Bin Full LED and symbol. Time to open the bin and press the mess down. Ultimately, it will be time to empty the bin. I am accustomed to lining my shredder bins with a plastic bag. In my experience, static cling has prevented the bins from being easily emptied without a bag, due to static electricity’s forces. It has been easier to gather the bag, lift it out and place it in the trash.
No bags are needed in the 200C. I just pull out the bin, using the handle that is hidden and integrated in the upper edge of the bin’s clear front window, and dump the contents into a LARGE trash bag. It is not easy to do so into a typical, small, 13-gallon trash bag, so I dump into big leaf-size bags.
Of course, the shredder will not operate with the bin removed or with the top open. With the bin removed, I always flip the master switch to OFF, then reach in to free the clingons from the cutters.
As with any shredder, there is maintenance to perform, whether or not you have known and done this before. It’s simple, really. Apply a few drops of non-aerosol, NOT petroleum-based lubricant across the cutters located under the lid. I use the oil supplied with the shredder and buy a larger size for about $10 when the sample is exhausted. It lasts a long time, through many applications. Close the lid, press and hold the forward (right-arrow/Play/Start) symbol for 2-3 seconds.
The other maintenance item is cleaning the Auto-Start sensors. Once again, with power OFF (just to be safe, you may wish to unplug the shredder), open the lid and locate the Auto-Start sensor at the top front. It’s a dark plastic-covered twin lens affair, easily cleaned with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.
Perform BOTH maintenance items regularly, ideally every time the bin is emptied. Otherwise, how will you remember? If this maintenance is done with great regularity, the shredder should last and last through years of trouble free use. I know this to be true from past experience.
In conclusion, who knew shredding could be so interesting and even fun. Now I do and so do you.
Use your Fellowes AutoMax 200C with confidence, and have fun.